Antreal Allen has a brand new guardian angel. His nephew, Phil Dowdell, was considered one of 4 victims within the Dadeville, Alabama mass taking pictures at a Candy 16 celebration for his little sister, Alexis, on April 15. Allen, an assistant soccer coach at Georgia State in Atlanta, bonded with Dowdell by way of many avenues, together with sports activities. At Dadeville Excessive Faculty, Dowdell was a star soccer participant and monitor star who was additionally on the basketball staff. He was set to start his school soccer profession at Jacksonville State within the fall.
After Dowdell’s candlelight vigil in Camp Hill, Alabama on April 20, Allen spoke to rolling out about what his nephew meant to him.
When did you first hear the information about Phil?
Certainly one of my sisters known as me late that night time, it was about 11 one thing on Georgia time.
I do know my sisters don’t name me late. Our household has a bunch message arrange, we’re sending good morning and good night time texts, and we already despatched the great night time textual content. I noticed my sister calling me and simply screaming my title. I knew one thing was fallacious. I couldn’t think about it will be one thing like this.
By the point I obtained the knowledge, I used to be at Round1 arcade in Atlanta, I used to be out having fun with myself, however after I obtained the decision, I sat down for a minute attempting to course of every part as a result of like I stated, it felt surreal. I didn’t really feel actual simply attempting to course of every part. As soon as I obtained that, went again, packed some garments, hit the highway and got here straight right here with my household.
What did Phil symbolize to you?
He meant lots. He was greater than only a nephew to me. He was like a little bit brother. He was my man, my boy. Phil was particular, he was multi function.
All the pieces he went by way of, was going by way of, I used to be there for him. He would name me, irrespective of the time of the day. He known as me “Uncle Trel.” It may be about faculty, it may be about sports activities, soccer, basketball, monitor, household or relationships, it doesn’t matter what it was he going by way of this and going by way of that, I will likely be there to provide him some encouraging phrases.
I might inform him on a regular basis, “Phil. Hey, man, if I don’t know, guess what? We’re gonna pray. We’re going to determine it out collectively,” however he meant far more than only a nephew. Far more than simply the athlete. Far more than only a member of the family to me. He meant lots to me.
What can we do to help you presently?
Preserve our household in your prayer. Preserve all people simply lifted up. The group, the relations that handed away, those which can be battling proper now, those who had been wounded, and those who had been within the get together as nicely as a result of you already know they’re going by way of lots. These children noticed lots. They’ve a whole lot of trauma they must stay with.